The shooter is still at large.
The shooting took place Wednesday evening at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, the oldest AME church in the South.
“It’s really bad. It’s a very bad scene,” local pastor Thomas Dixon said.
“Apparently the person just entered the church and opened fire. That part has not been fully articulated on what happened yet … they are still looking for the suspect.”
Police said the suspect in the shooting is a clean-shaven white man in his 20s, with a slender build. He was wearing a gray sweatshirt, blue jeans and boots.
Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church was formed in 1816 when African-American members of Charleston’s Methodist Episcopal Church formed their own congregation after a dispute over burial grounds.
Every Wednesday evening, the church holds a Bible study in its basement.